This is an amazing article and collection of short video's of TBI (traumatic brain injury) survivors and their loved ones based out of Walter Reed. Please if you have time, this is a great inside look at the impact of a TBI, along with an explanation of what each part of the brain does. The story on Barnes hits closest to home, his injuries and impairments are very very similar to hubby's.
These were shared with me by some of my friends over at AVBI.org who participated in the video's.
Files have been backed up, templates saved and the family blog is heading for the big leagues! Ok, ok not really. But the website address WILL be changing. The old address will re-direct, so have no fear! One week from today 3.24.13 you will be able to find us at
For the past seven months it's been kinda fun to say "He's got a finger bone in his belly". The looks.... ohhhh the looks, even from medical staff! And the response of "You have a what, in your where?". I'm gonna miss that!
For those who may not have missed out on some of the previous posts such as this one, let me explain. Hubby had a severely damaged pinkie finger after the blast. When I say severely, I mean the Dr's said it would never function as a finger, and I've seen the x-rays, and I'm guessing it wouldn't have looked like much of a finger either. In addition the the damaged pinkie, he had shrapnel blow threw his hand and took out a good chunk of the metacarpal for the ring and middle fingers, including the MC joints (the knuckle).
So....what they did was amputate the pinkie finger and then they removed the MC joint & metacarpal from the pinkie finger and stored it safely in his belly for later use. They hope was that they would be able to us that bone to do a bone graft and transplant the MC joint to the ring finger.
In Friday's surgery they were able to use the bone to do the grafts for his ring and middle finger. Initially we thought the transplant surgery would take place just weeks after they banked the bone (stored it in his belly) but wounds would not heal, and then he needed a carpal tunnel release done back in November which delayed the process. So that MC joint was a little stiff. 15 degrees of range of motion. But hey 15 degrees is 15 degrees and it's better than having the joint fused. The MC joint for the middle finger did have to be fused because of the amount of damage. But that was what we were expecting.
Friday they also took off the external fixator on his leg, and did a bone graft to the hole in his Tibia. We were very worried that he had a bone infection based on history and they way things were looking. But 8 days post op and all signs are pointing the infection being limited to soft tissue! YAY!!!!! The plan was for 6 weeks of IV antibiotics. But if all goes well, he should be off of them in a week or two.
He is now in a boot or a walking cast. And has been given the ok to start weight baring. Keeping him from going full steam ahead is a bit of a challenge. But hopefully pain will slow him down a little. Yeah, yeah, yeah that's terrible.. but the brain injury makes in impossible to reason with him. So for now, if it takes a little pain to keep him from undoing what they've done.. I'll take it. The sooner these graft "takes", the sooner we can get the second surgery done to start the lengthening procedure.
Aside from having trouble getting pain under control in the first 24 hours, which was quickly resolved with a dosage change on his epidural and a nerve block to his arm. Post-op when way better than I expected. Hubby on pain meds was sort of enjoyable, it doesn't knock him out and he doesn't talk crazy or anything. He is just mellow and agreeable, doesn't argue or question every little thing the staff does or says. And he was great with the kids. Now we are sorta back to the hubby I was expecting to see! But it was a nice change.
Few more days of this ward and then we will be moving up (literally) and before we know it hubby's forehead will be back in place. This will open up so many more doors for rehab and therapies. This feels like such a huge milestone, and we are almost there!
Yesterday, we said good bye to brother who is going on a mini vacation for a few weeks. We also waved farewell to Grandma and Auntie who have been here helping out. Little Miss and I headed over to the hospital to spend some time with daddy. It was a great day. We colored together, played some games, had some down time and even got to paint with the art lady.
At one point I climbed into bed next to hubby, and Little Miss quickly followed. The three of us snuggled in bed and watched TV for a long while. It was the most normal things have felt in a long time. Sweet moments for sure. And even though these next couple weeks wont be easy flying solo with the baby, and the setting is far from ideal, this will probably be the only time in Little Miss's life that she gets us both all to herself. And we are trying to enjoy that.
I have to hand it to the poor girl, she did pretty awesome making it more than 8 hours at the hospital without a single problem. We did have a Dr's appointment for her in the middle of the day where she ended up with a blood draw. Can I just say that was the most traumatic experience to date with the little one. For me and her. More for me.... maybe. The entire walk back she kept stopping and looking at her arm and bursting into tears. You could see her reliving it over and over. Thankfully after we removed the band aid she seemed to forget about it! Go figure.
We have a ghost in our hotel room. OK, not really, but the darn TV turns itself on every morning. Little Miss and I were deep in slumber when the news blasted on and woke us up much earlier than desired this morning. Don't worry, it took about an hour, a few curse words and hitting buttons purposelessly on the remote, and the power cord has now been unplugged and the TV should no longer posses supernatural qualities. If it does... we have some big problems.
After that awesome start to our day the rest of the day consisted pretty much of banana smooshing, fist throwing, milk spilling, wild monkey screeching, eye poking, and full blown toddler temper tantrums.
Little Miss did receive vaccines today. So I give her a one time free pass for extreme crankiness.
And she gets cuteness points for telling the Corpsman who gave her the shots "not nice", and then promptly asking him for money. I am IN TROUBLE!
It has been determined that I simply need to multiply myself and we will be good to go!
I should be fired! Back in January, yes January (sheesh I am embarrassed) my bloggy bestie Synnøve at Don't Chew on the Dinner Table deemed my blog worthy of this prestigious award! And seriously I should be fired for taking two months to pass this along.... but in the words of my bestie "Better late then pregnant"
Here are the rules should you choose to follow
You are to thank the blogger
who gave it to you, include the logo in your post, note 7 things about
pass the award onto 7 other bloggers.
Thank you Synnøve! Thank you for making me laugh every day. I admire your honesty and humor, and that nothing is off limits. Thank you for all of the encouragement and help in this crazy blog world. Who knew that meeting blogging friends would be so awesome!
And my seven fun, weird and pointless facts
I rock show tunes at the top of my lungs when I'm alone in the car.
I have a weird thing about water.... You know Bo, the little girl in Signs? Yes that kind of weird. I will not, no I cannot drink unfiltered tap water, or water that has been sitting out too long. It tastes weird. I am even picky about my bottled water....
I am double jointed or hyper mobile in most of my joints. My hands bend in unnatural ways and it freaks my husband out.
There is a high probability that I could accurately identify the actual TITLE of any episode of Friends within seconds.
Before Military life, I was a 911 dispatcher. Best job I've ever had and I miss my P.D. family! Yes I have some good stories, no I will not be sharing them on the Internet!
I am a channel flipper. If it is a commercial, cannot be identified or does not spark my interest in 5 seconds I keep going. Annoying I know.
I could live on bread and butter, and bread and butter alone for the rest of my life. Well as long as there is coffee, I have to have coffee.
And now my list of 7 awesome blogs that totally deserve this award!